Youth Work and Community Learning and Development

BA single honours Youth Work and Community Learning and Development 2018/19

Year of entry

This innovative course, which is offered by YMCA George Williams College allows you to study while you work with young people.

It explores the processes and thinking involved in animating, facilitating and deepening learning and development with young people and adults. You will examine the development of youth work, community and community learning and development, exploring the competing tensions of social, political and economic policy in relation to contemporary forms of practice.

The course is professionally recognised by the National Youth Agency and is a professional qualification in Youth and Community Work. The course is also accredited by the Community Learning and Development (CLD) Standards Council for Scotland, and is a professional qualification in CLD community learning and development. This will qualify you as a youth and community worker to work in a range of associated practice settings, including social pedagogy, education and learning support, and more traditional forms of youth and community work.

YMCA George Williams College is a specialist centre for the study of youth work and community learning and offers a wide range of courses and short courses which are unique in the UK. As well as teaching facilities, the College has a well-stocked specialist library and holds one of the most comprehensive collections of material about youth work in the country.

"Choosing to study Youth Work and Community Learning and Development was a great decision for me because it has encouraged me to reflect on myself holistically - as a professional and an individual. There is regularly allocated time for discussion with fellow students with a view to enhancing our youth work practice and learning from each other."

If you are interested in education and learning in their broadest senses, want a professional qualification, and are keen to mix rigorous academic study with reflective practice, this course is the one for you. The ways of thinking and acting involved are highly transferable to a wide range of careers − but have special relevance for those committed to working with young people and in local communities.

The College was delighted to receive a 90% overall satisfaction rating in National Student Survey (NSS) in September 2014

The Youth Work and Community Learning and Development degree is a multi-disciplinary course. It consists of 18 modules, studied over 4 years (blended learning). 

You will study a range of modules over four years (distance learning). You will work in different settings (including specialist agencies, and community based groups and organisations), have your own individual supervisor, and study a range of academic disciplines.

Work experience

Two modules of the BA (Hons) Youth Work and Community Learning and Development course provide a practical opportunity for you to work with young people and adults by undertaking the 480 hours of professional practice required (of which 360 must be face-to-face).  These are normally completed in your workplace.

While studying the degree Eben worked with Catch 22 - working with young people at risk of offending and social exclusion.

“In my job I can give back the knowledge that I am learning at the College and make an impact on the lives of hundreds of young people in my local community.”

The YMCA George Williams College is unique. We are the only specialist youth work further and higher education college in the UK and the only institution offering a UK-wide qualification to professionals working with young people.

Year 1 (Level 4)

In the first year, you will study the following modules:

Exploring Management and Evaluation

The aim of the module is to develop skills in planning and evaluation, management and research. You will explore theories of organisation, leadership and management as well as looking at research for monitoring, assessment and evaluation. 

Exploring the Social Context

The aim of the module is to develop your awareness of the social context in which youth work and community learning and development take place to afford opportunities for you to cultivate your understanding of competing tensions between policy and practice.

Exploring Human Growth and Development

This module aims to explore how human beings grow and change over their lives – emotionally, psychologically and intellectually – and some of key implications for your practice as informal and community educators, social pedagogues and youth workers.

Exploring Pedagogy, Learning and Development

This module aims to equip you with knowledge and skills that will enable you to develop a critical understanding of facilitating learning and of pedagogic practice across diverse contexts.  

Reflection on Professional Practice

The aim of this double practice module is to enable you to explore and enhance your practice as an educator.  In particular, it seeks to develop your abilities to record and reflect on practice, use supervision, engage in self-assessment and identify opportunities with individuals, manage yourself and work on your own initiative.  

Year 2 (Level 5)

The second year modules are:

Reflection on Professional Practice

The specific aim of this double module is to enable you to enhance your all-round abilities as an educator.  In particular, it seeks to provide an environment in which you can engage in work with individuals, groups, and communities; foster your abilities to reflect on, assess and develop your practice; enable you to name evidence within your practice with regard to gaining professional qualification. 

The module includes a further exploration of the nature and value base of supervision, the supervision relationship and its impact upon practice. 

Practising Management and Evaluation

This module aims to enable you to develop and apply your understanding of ideas, theories and skills of management, organisations and organisational behaviour to the practice of youth work, community learning and development. 

Helping and Counselling Skills

The aim of this module is to explore the process of working with individual children and young people, drawing on understandings and skills from other arenas of work such as counselling, and placing them within the practice and value framework of informal education. The course aims to provide you with a series of opportunities to explore your disposition, thinking and practice in working with individuals.

Teaching and Group Work

The aim of the module is to enable you to deepen your understanding of, and practice with, the process of facilitating learning in groups and classrooms.

Youth Work and Community Learning and Development

The aim of this module is to deepen your appreciation of youth work and community learning and development; the social, economic and political context in which you as a practitioner have to operate; and how you might develop your thinking and practice appropriately.

Year 3 (Level 6)

In the third year, the modules you will study are:

Reflection on Professional Practice

The specific aim of this double module is to enable you to enhance your abilities as an educator.  In particular it seeks to: provide an environment in which you can engage in, and interrogate, practice; enable you to name and evidence your practice with regard to requirements for professional qualification; develop your abilities to supervise others and enhance your abilities to manage others. 

Community Learning and Development

The aim of this module is to deepen and extend your understanding of central themes within community learning and development and to enhance your practice as animators of community learning and development.

Developing Management and Evaluation

This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to become effective managers whose practice is informed by the ideas, theories and values explored in other parts of the course. Building on the material of previous modules, this module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to become effective managers whose practice is informed by the ideas, theories and values explored in other areas of the programme.

You will learn about presentation and communication, developing staff, the learning organisation, working with conflict, and using financial information including developing bids for funding and learn to offer critical perspectives on these.

Professional Judgment and Ethics

This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills that will enable you to develop a critical and practical understanding of ethical judgements in a professional context. 

Researching Youth Work and Community Learning and Development, Individual Study

This module aims to deepen your understanding of the theory, practices and principles of youth work and community learning and development and to develop your abilities as an independent researcher.

A significant number of students on our courses work, or go on to work in youth work and community learning and development settings. These include churches and faith organisations, children’s centres and youth organisations, hostels and third sector organisations.

They also work in the public sector (including health services, youth justice, and social work) and in commercial organisations. A number have also gone on to work in schools and colleges operating in different areas including community cohesion, inclusion, learning support, extra- and extended curricula activity, pastoral and careers support, personal, social and health education, citizenship education, and whole school development.

"I am writing to thank you very much for everything over the past 5 years. I enjoyed the BA(Hons) in Youth Work and Community Learning and Development tremendously and cannot begin to describe how much I feel that I have benefited from the experience, not only in my work environment but in the rest of my life too. You may know that I was recently promoted and I know had I not attended the course, this would not have been possible."

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Part-time

TBC (YMCA George Williams College)

N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements

You will need to cover the costs of your travel to and from supervision and your placement and residentials (distance learning students only).

You will be allocated external supervisors on a geographical basis. Every effort is made to ensure that you are within 1 hour of travelling time to your allocated supervisor.

The cost of travel to the residential (distance learning only), is dependent on the distance you have to travel to the residential. Normally distance learning residentials take place at the Hayes Conference Centre Alfreton, Derbyshire.

DBS / Health Checks There is a charge made for this process of £52

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

You will be part of a regional study group, which meets for 10 days spread across each academic level. Typically, a level takes 14 months to complete. Course content is delivered through specialist written study guides and course readings. Each regional study group is appointed a course tutor who helps to facilitate the course materials provided.

You will be expected to be in working concurrently for 480 hours in a professional practice setting of which 360 hours must be face-to-face practice. You will also be required to undertake professional supervision (eight individual sessions per level and four group supervision sessions per level).

The course incorporates reflective practice groups as part of the residentials and the regional study groups, where study and reflection combine to shape practice which is both informed and committed (praxis).


Academic input

The staff team comprises leading academics and experienced practitioners in the field of youth work and community learning and development.

Dr Brian Belton, Senior Lecturer

Coming from an East London/English Gypsy background, Brian entered youth work partly as an escape from the hooligan/gang life of the late 1960s/early 1970s docklands. While working in youth work related situations around the world, including Israel, the Falkland Islands, the USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, Zambia, South Africa, China and Canada, Brian’s interest in identity and ethnicity flourished and today he is an internationally recognised authority on Gypsy Ethnicity, having written widely on that subject, delivering papers most recently in the USA, Greece, Sweden and Slovenia as well as around the UK.  Brian has been developing a growing network of practitioners and academics concerned with the exploration of youth work and Islam. Brian gained a BSc at City University, an MA at the University of Essex and was awarded his doctorate by the University of Kent. Brian is visiting lecturer for the University of Malta.

Surprising terms

Students need to complete 80% attendance. This is a course requirement as a condition of professional validation.

There are 11 methods of assessment which may be used. They fall within three categories: graded programme work assessments; assessments of professional practice (by student, supervisor and others) and assessments undertaken by external examiners

Graded coursework assessments

  • Written assignments, presentations and reports.
  • Fieldwork reports.
  • One individual study
  • One unseen examination at level 6 (Year 3) of the BA (Hons) course)

 Assessments of professional practice (by student, supervisor and others)

  • Self-assessment of learning
  • Supervisor's assessment
  • Line manager's assessment
  • Any assessment or report written by an independent assessor
  • Any assessment or report written by a tutor
  • Comments on oral seminar presentations and participation in programme groups (with or without peer group participation in the assessment process).                                                  
  • Index of evidence

 Assessments undertaken by external examiners

  • Viva Voce examinations

The course leads to a full dual professional qualification in youth work (validated by the National Youth Agency) providing Joint Negotiation Committee (JNC) recognition, and community learning and development (validated by Standards Council for Community Learning and Development for Scotland).

Find out more about the National Youth Agency

www.nya.org.uk/careers-youth-work/getting-qualified

Visit the CLD Standards Council for Scotland website

cldstandardscouncil.org.uk

With the largest collection of texts in Britain dedicated to the study of youth work housed in the Mary Crosby library, we offer the chance to study at a variety of levels from pre-qualifying through to post graduate level.

YMCA George Williams College has established partnerships across the voluntary and statutory sectors: with charities, local colleges and universities, churches and faith groups, hostels and clubs. We have earned financial support for our work from about a dozen different charities and organisations, including the Jack Petchey Foundation, Home Office and Rank Foundation, to keep the College up-to-date in our course development and open to all students and communities.

Email registry@ymca.ac.uk for more information or telephone 020 7540 4900/02

YMCA George Williams College
199 Freemasons Road
Canning Town
London
E16 3PY

Fact file

Length

  • 4 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • You must normally be at least 18 at the time of entry to Level 4 (first year of the degree course). The benchmark used by the College is that for entry to the course you must have prior qualifications, or knowledge and skills equivalent to passes in two subjects at Advanced level, NVQ Level 3 or equivalent. Applicants over 21 do not need to have passed such examinations to get on the programme but they must show that they are thinking and practising at that level.

    A typical offer would be 80 UCAS Tariff points. You will need to have relevant experience in working with young people, two professional references and a current satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Location

School

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Last edited: 06/03/2017 10:34:00